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Assessment of soil microbial diversity and soil enzyme activities under inorganic input sources on maize and rice ecosystems.

BACKGROUND: To increase crop productivity, modern agricultural practices comprises fertilizers, algaecides, herbicides and fungicides.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effects of soil microbial population and soil enzyme activity by the use of fertilizer in maize and inorganic input in the rice ecosystem.

METHODS: A field experiment (2021 to 2023) was carried out using synthetic fertilizer doses with maize crops followed by rice crops using inorganic inputs. Soil microbial population and enzyme activities were examined.

RESULTS: Maize field experiment revealed that the plots treated with 75 % Standardized Dose of Fertilizer (SDF) of NPK had the highest populations of diazotrophs (124 × 105 cfu / g), Phosphobacteria (66.33 × 105 cfu / g), and Azospirillum (0.409 × 105 MPN / g) than 100 % and 150 % SDF of NPK. The soil enzyme activity was higher in the unfertilized control plot than fertilized plot. These experimental results revealed that a low amount of fertilizer and no fertilizers favour the growth of soil microorganisms and soil enzyme activities, respectively. Followed by the rice field experiment, revealed that the soil microbial population was decreased by the application of inorganic inputs viz. , fertilizer, algaecide, herbicide and fungicide. However, the maximum soil microbial population was found in algaecide application followed by herbicide and fungicide.

CONCLUSION: The field experiment concluded that soil microbial population and enzyme activity were affected by inorganic amendments. Less inorganic fertilizers and no fertilizers improve soil microbial activities and soil enzyme activities.

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